White Sox cheerleader Ken Harrelson’s status as an unapologetic homer is well established, but during Chicago’s struggles Sunday with KC’s Zack Greinke, the Hawk went from mere bias to suggesting arbiter Joe West be intentionally injured. Hardball Talk’s Aaron Gleeman provides the details :
Harrelson talked about the umpiring for literally innings at a time and his broadcast partner Frank Thomas, who was subbing for a vacationing Steve Stone, frequently chimed in to agree.
After every close pitch that was called a ball for a White Sox pitcher or a strike for a Royals pitcher, Harrelson launched into another monologue about the umpires conspiring against the White Sox. He frequently used words like “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to describe the situation, and called it a “travesty” that West was even allowed to work White Sox games after his incident with Mark Buehrle earlier this season.
At one point Thomas noted that “back when I was playing” the catcher and pitcher would intentionally get “crossed up” on a pitch and let it hit the umpire, which seemed to be mostly a joke because a) Thomas laughed, b) “back when I was playing” was all of two years ago, and c) that rarely, if ever, actually happens. But then Harrelson liked the sound of Thomas’ “idea” and suggested the White Sox actually do it to West.
After Jason Kendall’s walk-off RBI single won the contest in the 10th inning, Thomas burnished his broadcasting credentials with the following analysis ; “this really sucks.”